A modern, contemporary Hindu temple with earthy tones, lattice screens and a large skylight is under construction in Dubai’s Jebel Ali.
Trustees said the shrine, with 11 Hindu deities, would be ready by Diwali in October next year.
The main shikhar, or spire, rises to a height of 24 metres and the glass-shaded skylight is ringed with six additional spires.
Sunlight will stream in through the octagonal-shaped skylight on to the prayer area that can hold 1,500 worshippers.
Large bells suspended from the dome will drop into the expansive hall.
The 465-square-metre prayer room will open up to a terrace for pujas – or ceremonies – where devotees can pray around a fire.
The terrace and the facade will be partially covered with mashrabiya designs inspired from Arabic architecture.
"This is not one of your classical temples, it is a contemporary, modern-day temple," Raju Shroff, a trustee of the Sindhi Guru Darbar temple that will oversee the construction work, told The National.
“In this city that is all about hustle and bustle, we have tried to create a feel of serenity and calmness when you come to prayer.
“We have used earthy and natural colours so your mind is at peace. There will be a lot of natural light because of the huge skylight.”
This is the second Hindu temple being built in the UAE.
Unlike the temple being constructed in Abu Dhabi, for which hand carvings are being sculpted in Indian towns, work on the Dubai temple will be done in the emirate.
“Our design and inspiration is from here. The facade is with Saudi/Jordanian stone and it is inspired by the Arabian mashrabiya design,” Mr Shroff said.
“We are doing everything in Dubai. Only the murtis (deities) will be from the India.”
The temple will be housed on the upper level with a community centre on the lower section.
Outer structural work is being undertaken on the Jebel Ali site.
Work on two basements and the ground floor of the single-storey structure has been completed.
Sculptures of the Hindu deities Shiv, Hanuman, Ganesh and others will be placed in the prayer hall.
On the ground floor, the main community area will cover about 370 square metres. It can be used for weddings, child-naming ceremonies and condolence gatherings.
Another small area will be allocated for dance, music and art classes.
"We are expecting people to use this on a daily basis, not just on weekends and we want to give it a community feel,” Mr Shroff said.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the temple took place last year and the foundation stone was laid in August.
The temple is being built in an area near a popular Sikh shrine in Jebel Ali, where several Christian churches are located.
The Sindhi Guru Darbar temple trust also runs two Hindu shrine in small buildings in Bur Dubai.
Trustees said the shrine was testimony to the inclusive approach of the UAE leaders.
“It could not have been possible without the generosity and open-mindedness of the Rulers of the UAE, and the overwhelming support of the Community Development Authority, Dubai,” the trust said.